The trendy thing to talk about in the smartphone world is 'market share', of course. Thinking about the industry as 'business', its' all about current sales, how many units were shipped in the last few months, how much profit was made, and so on. Flip this on its head, looking at smartphone platforms from the user's point of view though, and a slightly different picture emerges. What I consider below is the 'active installed base' of each platform, i.e. the numbers of compatible handsets being used on a daily basis around the world.
Anyone watching the online coverage of smartphones over the last month can't have helped but notice something peculiar. There's a huge amount of love in the room for BlackBerry (formerly Research in Motion) and their 'comeback' smartphone the Z10. That love has given BlackBerry a fair amount of leeway over many issues in the handset (not least battery life and the unfocused UI elements), and I can't help wondering how Windows Phone's last two years would have been with the same love in the room.
Well, in contravention of my headline, actually these data technologies and speed aren't totally irrelevant. But they are most of the time, as I'll explain below. In fact, the whole concept of needing ultrafast mobile data all the time is horribly flawed, but it turns out that such data is, at least in part, a kludge solution to something our intelligent smartphones are supposed to be doing for us all the time, when we're not actively using them...
As Ewan pointed out recently, after wiping or replacing your phone, there's a very limited opportunity to accept Microsoft's automated help in restoring your applications and set-up. And, if you hadn't allowed Windows Phone to 'backup' your app list in the first place (it's a setting) then you'd be screwed anyway. Having had to completely wipe my Lumia 920 (for self-inflicted reasons I won't bore you with), I had to find a painless way to get all my apps back and, having jumped through a few blind alleys in the process, thought it worth documenting as a 'how to' for others.
Forgive me for going all generic and chatty and, for once, abandoning technical details and platform specifics. For this topic is applicable to all phone of all prices and OS persuasions. Well, maybe not all prices, as you'll see. I'm, quite simply, intrigued by the eternal battle between style and protection. Let me explain...
Following on from Steve's and Ewan's live tile tour, it's my turn to show you how I have my Windows Phone 8 tiles set up. While Steve went for the most optimal set up, and Ewan went for a much more active set up, mine is now somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, you missed my very elaborate v1.0 set up, but now I'm on v2.0 with plenty of live tile activity, even though I've scaled things back as my needs have changed.
One of the new features of Windows Phone 8 that I've been enjoying is having Bing's 'Image of the Day'. Great views, fascinating pictures, and adds something surprising to my day. But there's one thing that's been bothering me... why can't Bing synchronise up the lock screen image and the Bing search image?
Following on from Steve's post last week talking about his Windows Phone 8 live tiles, it's my turn to show off my set-up. Looking over Steve's article, it looks like my start screen is twice as large as his, mostly because Steve has made a conscious decision to stay minimal, while I prefer to have far more activity and links on my screen. It's a layout that has evolved and built up over time, and one that still goes through small changes every week or so. Let's have a closer look.
Having now been living with the Nokia Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8 off and on for the last two months, I've found that my setup has been iterating week on week, eventually stabilising on what is my 'optimal' Start screen and application loadout. Now, I know that every Windows Phone will be set up differently, but hopefully something about my final configuration and app picks will prove of interest to the AAWP readership.
For various reasons, the life of a reviewer involves pushing phones a little bit more than the consumer. As a result, I tend to move a lot of data around, and it has not taken me long to come to a conclusion. Microsoft's approach to backing up data on someone's Windows Phone is seriously lacking.